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By Andy Argyrakis
Weekend Report: Bop with Buble, Dance with Tegan & Sara
Friday, March 26, 2010
Throughout the past ten years and six studio CDs, twin sister singer/songwriters Tegan & Sara have steadily evolved in their lyrical and musical musings. Though purists of the pair's more organic material from the past may be thrown for a loop on the new Sainthood (Sire), those that prefer a little dance in their step will surely appreciate the group's synthesizer additions. (Worth a shot - Friday at Aragon Ballroom- Chicago, IL: www.jamusa.com).
After a two and a half year wait, Michael Bublé returned to the studio via Crazy Love (Warner Brothers) with a completely novel take on several standards, alongside two new cuts. The contemporary crooner turns "Cry Me a River" into a modern big band affair, snaps with sophistication through "All of Me" and shows his proficiency at smooth soul throughout "Georgia On My Mind," alongside an ingenious re-arranging of Van Morrison's "Crazy Love" as a blues-tipped ballad. (Worth a shot - Saturday at Allstate Arena- Rosemont, IL: www.ticketmaster.com).
Get ready for the return of grunge, laced with the pummeling hard rock sounds that can only come out of the crunching guitars, shuddering drums and militant vocals of Stone Temple Pilots. Led by the insanely charismatic Scott Weiland, expect a ballsy blend of '90s standouts crossed with a preview from 2010's self-titled CD, which marks the sixth in members' on again/off again/on again relationship. (Bet your life - Saturday at Riviera Theatre- Chicago, IL: www.jamusa.com).
Street Week: Pet Shop Boys on CD and DVD, Knebworth knockout
Monday. March 22, 2010
Dubbed "the best British rock concert of all time," Live at Knebworth (Eagle Records) more than lives up to its title thanks to tunes from Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Genesis, Status Quo, Tears For Fears, Pink Floyd, Robert Plant, Cliff Richard & the Shadows, Elton John and Dire Straits. Consider the 1990 concert re-release to serve as a mini Live Aid with each of the illustrious artists turning in top hits. Highlights include Genesis' somewhat rare "Turn It On Again" medley, McCartney's "Hey Jude," Plant's "Wearing and Tearing" (with special guest Jimmy Page on guitar) and Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb."
With every year that passes, the synth-pop duo known as Pet Shop Boys continues to earn critical and fellow artist acclaim, even if their catalogue is ripe with kitschy cuts and even more outlandish outfits. But everyone from Lady Gaga to The Killers, Scissor Sisters and Fischerspooner have plenty to owe these guys, and all anyone has to do for proof is scan the pair's latest concert DVD/CD combo pack Pandemonium (Astralwerks). Filmed at the O2 Arena in London last year, the group adapts its club-friendly sound to arena confines and does surprisingly well, making the leap thanks to clever production loaded with technically innovative theatrics.
Ever wonder what the heroic singer/songwriter/poet/author Leonard Cohen listens to? Well with Leonard Cohen's Jukebox (essentially a hand-picked compilation by that very artist of his favorite songs), faithful fans will learn he likes Les Paul and Mary Ford's "Tennessee Waltz," plus live renditions of The Ronettes' "Be My Baby" and Joni Mitchell's "California" to name just a handful.
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